Assault charges are not taken lightly in Western Australia. Penalties apply when proven guilty no matter how minor or major the charges are. Provisions for assault charges are dealt with in the Criminal Code 1913 (WA).
Assault is the direct infliction of force, violence or injury upon a person. It is very important to seek professional legal advice when charged or when filing for assault. The penalties are quite severe, so you will need the guidance of someone very familiar with the law.
Types of Assault
Assault may occur in different situations and to varying degrees. It may not necessarily result in physical injury, a common result of physical assault. Assault charges may also arise from a threat or attempt of an offender to carry out the assault to a victim.
Assault-based offences can also be aggravated when the persons involved are in a domestic relationship or if a child is present. If an action breaches a restraining order, the victim is 60 years old or if the offence is racially motivated, it can also be considered as an assault offence.
When a person has sustained minor injuries or when a person has been threatened, they can file a common assault charge in Western Australia. The action against the victim may include hitting, showing or pushing. These charges are dealt with by the Magistrates’ Court. Maximum penalty may include 18 months imprisonment and a fine of $18,000. For offences that occur in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty may rise to 3 years of imprisonment and a fine of $36,000.
Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm
When a victim incurs bodily harm that interferes with their health and comfort, the offender can be charged with assault occasioning bodily harm. Injuries may include minor abrasions, bruises and other minor injuries that require medical attention. Charges under this offence are dealt in the Magistrates’ Court or the District Court.
Penalties heard in the District Court may carry a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment to 7 years if the offence occurs in circumstances of aggravation. Cases heard in the Magistrates’ Court may carry a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and a fine of $24,000 or 3 years imprisonment and a fine of $36,000 for offence occurred in circumstances of aggravation.
Grievous Bodily Harm
Serious bodily injury that endangers a life or may cause permanent injury or even death is considered as a grievous category of assault. It carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and is dealt by the District Court. It will be raised to 14 years of imprisonment if the crime includes stealing a car from a victim working as a health worker, court officer or ambulance officer, or when the offence occurs in circumstances of aggravation.
Serious assault can get a maximum penalty of 7 years in Western Australia. It can be raised to 10 years in prison for armed offenders or if they are included in a company of more than one person. Assault against a police officer, prison officer, security officer that leads to bodily injury may carry a penalty of 6 to 9 months of imprisonment.
This type of offence may not be necessarily sexually motivated but inherently indecent. Charges for such offence are dealt with by The Magistrates Court or the District Court. Cases heard in the District Court can get a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. Those charged that are armed with a weapon during the offence can be penalized with 7 years’ imprisonment. If the case is heard in the Magistrates’ Court, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and a fine of $24,000.
Kean Legal Barristers & Solicitors can represent you and provide legal assistance. We provide a service where you may attend our offices for an initial consultation limited to one hour for a fixed price of $250.00 payable on the day of the consultation. There is no obligation to engage our services after the initial consultation.
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